AN ACOUSTIC GUITAR SUMMIT FOR BRUNCH, FEATURING 3 STRONG GUITARISTS FROM THE MIDWEST, HOSTED BY ELGIN FOSTER.
Sam Breckenridge is an accomplished Minneapolis-based finger-style acoustic guitarist and composer. Sam quickly established his presence in the Minneapolis music scene in 1999 as the principal songwriter of the acoustic duo “Afterall”, along with singer / lyricist Tim Griesgraber. Sam’s expressive acoustic guitar playing and his natural ability to create striking original compositions allowed Afterall to enjoy over 10 years of regular performances in Minneapolis / St. Paul’s finest venues.
In 2010, a watershed moment occurred in Sam’s musical journey when he discovered guitarists such as Michael Hedges, Andy Mckee, and Erik Mongrain. For many years, Sam had composed his music in alternate, non-standard guitar tunings, much like these artists. However, Sam was immediately drawn to the genre’s lightning fast harmonics, classical right-hand movements, and percussive beats on the body of the guitar, and knew immediately that he had found the style that would define him as a musician.
At that point, Sam decided to dedicate himself to studying the instrument like never before. His playing rapidly translated to fingerstyle composing, which immediately led to a wonderful period of writing and performing. Sam is currently playing solo acoustic shows in the midwest, introducing audiences to the skillful, innovative, and soulful playing of his original music.
Sam has had a feature in the “Minnesota Guitarist” magazine, has been featured on The Minnesota Guitar Society’s website, has been invited to play at Minnestoa’s Guitar Concert Series at Sundin Music Hall, and has over 12 years of live stage experience as a Twin Cities musician. In September 2013, Sam’s original composition “Much Obliged” was included in City Pages “Top 10 Must See MN Music Videos.” Additionally, two of Sam’s original solo instrumental pieces are featured on Tim Reede Custom Guitar’s Compilation Album to promote his instruments in all of the major North American guitar shows in 2013-2016. Sam has instrument endorsements with Tim Reede Custom Guitars, and K&K Pickups.
Over the years, Elgin has performed in local coffee houses; restaurants; Mall of America, Minneapolis - Saint Paul Airport, wine tastings; Bed and Breakfasts; weddings; house concerts; church services and open-mic nights with the Minnesota Guitar Society. Elgin also was awarded a certificate of special congressional recognition from congressman John Kline for his service to the community through benefit concerts to help the homeless, cancer victims and programs for single moms. Elgin has shared the stage with some of the artists who continue to inspire him including: Dean Magraw, Dan Schwartz, Ben Woolman, Dylan Mckinstry, Dan Neale, Tim Sparks, Greg Herriges, Steve Lehto and John Wright.
Ben Abrahamson is an active guitarist and composer based in the Twin Cities. His passion for flamenco guitar drove him to Taller de Músics School of Music in Barcelona, Spain, where he studied under Juan Ramón Caro.
Ben has composed extensively for live dance and theater. In 2014, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet commissioned Ben to compose "Iberian Quartet", which the MGQ premiered featuring flamenco dancer Colette Illarde. In May 2015, Ben composed a one-of-a-kind flamenco score for big band as guest artist with the Macalester College Big Band. In 2016, South West High School commissioned Ben to compose "Reel for Guitar" for a hundred-piece youth guitar orchestra, which premiered at "Strut Fest". Ben also collaborated with choreographer Susana di Palma on an original score for Zorongo Flamenco's "Los Caprichios", a contemporary flamenco ballet inspired by the etchings of Goya. Ben has served as guest composer with the Muhlenberg College Theatre & Dance Dept. in Allentown, PA, and the Macalester College Dance Dept.
He has shared the stage with such mentors as flamenco guitarists Michael Hauser and Pedro Cortés, Jr., dance veterans La Conja and Susana di Palma, jazz educator Joan Griffith, and music iconoclast Gary Lee Joyner. Ben performs with groups like Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre, Lulu's Playground, the Thomas Nordlund Quintet, and the guitar trio Orchestra for Ants.